City Councilwoman and RSC liaison Sara Goddard presented the Individual Award to Bill Lawyer.
Kajol Khatri received the RSC Youth Award from Melissa Grieco, former RSC Chair.
John Krall, Executive Chef of Manursing Island Club, accepted the Nonprofit Award from RSC Vice-Chair Gretchen Kaye-Crowley.
- Photos by Melanie Cane
Leading the Environmental Way
What better place to confer the 2020 Rye Sustainability Committee Environmental Leadership Awards than on the Village Green! The afternoon of September 25, members of the Committee bestowed honors on Bill Lawyer in the individual category; Manursing Island Club in the nonprofit category; and Kajol Khatri in the youth category.
The awards were established in 2017 to honor individuals, organizations, and members of the business community that have made significant environmental achievements and demonstrated excellence in leadership for the health of our community and planet. Congratulations to the winners.
As a teacher at Rye Country Day School, Bill Lawyer established an ecology club on the first Earth Day and helped students organize school recycling efforts. He was Executive Director of the Greenburgh Nature Center for 30 years and helped found the Environmental Advocacy Group of Rye (EAGR).
Bill currently serves on the City of Rye Conservation Commission/Advisory Council. He is also Assistant Director for Community Relations at Rye Town Park where he is working with Rye Country Day School science teachers to determine the health of the pond’s diverse flora & fauna and establishing a pollinator garden. He is a longtime contributor to The Rye Record, where he pens a Right in Our Backyard column and writes about the environment.
Under the leadership of Tom Cherniavsky and John Krall, Manursing Island Club has successfully integrated sustainable practices into their daily operations. Among the many initiatives instituted are switching from plastic to 100% compostable takeout containers; recycling all glass and plastic; collecting and recycling corks; composting food scraps; and substituting paper straws for plastic ones.
The Club has eliminated pesticide use from their entire property and new plantings are selected each year based on their pollinator-friendly characteristics.
Kajol Khatri, a junior at Rye High School, has helped out with many Rye Sustainability Committee projects over the past few years. She helped convince restaurants in downtown Rye to switch from single-use, disposable plastic straws to paper straws or to eliminate straws altogether. She pitched in with beach cleanups and the assembly of Food Scrap Recycling starter kits in the garage bays at the Department of Public Works.
She serves currently as Vice President of Rye High’s Environmental Club where she is working on making her school a more sustainable place. In 2019, Kajol helped organize and mobilize her fellow students for the Youth Climate Strike.